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Old December 9th, 2011, 11:19 AM   #41
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Old February 5th, 2012, 07:38 AM   #42
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LCQ9: Waste management strategy
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Government Press Release

Following is a question by the Hon Lee Wing-tat and a written reply by the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Edward Yau, in the Legislative Council today (February 1):

Question:

At present, Hong Kong mainly relies on landfills to treat its waste. Of the 18 000 tonnes of solid waste generated every day, 13 300 tonnes are disposed of at landfills. According to the progress of the key initiatives in the "Policy Framework for the Management of Municipal Solid Waste (2005-2014)", the Government has made a series of recommendations in respect of waste treatment, reduction and recycling, including the measures of developing an integrated waste management facility (IWMF) with a daily treatment capacity (including sorting and incinerating) of 3 000 tonnes of waste, raising the target of waste recovery rate from the present 49% to 55% by 2015, developing two organic waste treatment facilities (OWTFs) with daily treatment capacity of 200 and 300 tonnes respectively at Siu Ho Wan on North Lantau and Sha Ling in the North District, as well as reducing waste at source through direct economic incentives (e.g. introducing municipal solid waste charging and funding project of on-site food waste treatment), etc. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the breakdown of the volume of solid waste generated, the overall waste disposal rate at landfills and the waste recovery rate in Hong Kong in each of the past five years by type of waste, including glass, metal, plastics, paper, food waste, construction waste, sludge, electronic waste (including old computer and electrical appliance) and other waste (please specify the types);

(b) of the computation methods, standards and criteria for determining the aforesaid respective treatment capacity and target (including the daily capacity of IWMF to treat 3 000 tonnes of waste, the 55% target rate of waste recovery by 2015, as well as the daily treatment capacity of 200 and 300 tonnes of the two OWTFs);

(c) whether it has studied and assessed the amount of waste required to be reduced and the extent to which the waste recovery rate is required to be raised in Hong Kong in order to downsize the scale of the aforesaid IWMF and hence reduce its impacts on the environment with the adoption of waste reduction and recycling approaches for waste treatment; and

(d) given that at present, the Government has indicated that according to the medium to long-term planning strategy for waste management facilities, the construction of the IWMF on the artificial island near Shek Kwu Chau as compared to Tsang Tsui in Tuen Mun will achieve a more well-balanced spatial distribution for waste management facilities in Hong Kong as a whole, yet the Government pointed out in the "Integrated Waste Management Facilities Site Selection Report" in 2008 (the 2008 Report) that compared to Shek Kwu Chau and other potential sites, Tsang Tsui in Tuen Mun had achieved the highest overall score because of "the ease of integration with the existing landfill and waste reception facilities, much less impact on local ecology, shorter construction time, lower construction cost",

(i) whether the Government had referred to the 2008 Report in making the present proposal for the site; why the present proposal differs from the results in the 2008 Report;

(ii) of the respective overall costs for constructing the IWMF on the artificial island near Shek Kwu Chau and Tsang Tsui in Tuen Mun, with a breakdown by cost item (e.g. construction cost, operating cost and transportation cost, etc.); and

(iii) whether it had assessed the respective economic benefits to be brought to the two districts by constructing the IWMF at the two aforesaid sites, with specific figures to illustrate such benefits?

Reply

President,

Treatment of municipal solid waste (MSW) is an unavoidable problem for every city. Our policy objective is to implement sustainable waste management strategies. Hong Kong generates about 18 000 tonnes of MSW daily. After discounting 52% of recovered materials from this generated quantity and adding other solid wastes (such as non-inert construction waste), we have to handle about 13 500 tonnes of waste daily, which are mostly disposed of at landfills before the introduction of large-scale modern waste treatment facilities. For a small and densely-populated city like Hong Kong, the practice of disposing a large quantity of waste generated daily in landfills is not sustainable.

To provide a more comprehensive and timely solution to the imminent waste problem in Hong Kong, the Government announced on January 4, 2011 a long-term action agenda to tackle the waste management problem of Hong Kong after reviewing the "2005-2014 Policy Framework for the Management of Municipal Solid Waste" (the Policy Framework). With "reduce, recycle and proper waste management" as the objective, the action agenda put forward the following three core strategies and the specific implementation timetable:

(i) strengthening efforts in promoting waste reduction at source and recycling at source;
(ii) introducing modern facilities for waste treatment; and
(iii) extending the existing landfills in a timely manner.

It should be noted that all these three strategies are essential to effectively resolve our waste management problem.

The Government has proposed a series of measures on waste treatment, reduction and recycling, which include raising the recovery target of MSW to 55% by 2015 through stepping up publicity and promotional efforts on waste reduction and recycling; expediting the legislative process for introducing new Producer Responsibility Schemes and extending the existing programmes to encourage waste reduction at source; consulting the public on possible options to introduce MSW charging as a direct economic disincentive to reduce waste at source. We will apply for funding from the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council in early 2012 to expedite the development of advanced waste treatment facilities, including the integrated waste treatment facilities (IWTF) that can reduce the waste volume by 90% and turn waste into energy. In the meantime, we have to push ahead with the extension plans of existing landfills in order to maintain proper management of solid waste in compliance with the green requirements.

My reply to the question of the Honourable Mr Lee is as follows:

(a) A breakdown by quantities and major types of solid waste disposed of at landfills in the past five years, and as regards to waste recovery, a breakdown by the quantities generated and recovery rates of the major components of MSW in the past five years is available at the Annex.

(b) The Government has made reference to the historical trend of waste generation and recovery and the projections of social and economic activities in Hong Kong in assessing the future requirements for waste treatment. The assessments provided the basis for determining the demand and scale of the related waste treatment facilities. Waste reduction at source is a key component of our waste management strategy. As such, we will endeavour to forge a broad consensus within the community for the implementation of various waste reduction initiatives to complement the provision of facilities and upgrading of ancillary hardware.

Currently, the MSW recovery rate of Hong Kong stands at 52%, which compares favourably with many other cities at a similar level of development. Indeed, we have also exceeded the targets set in the 2005 Policy Framework (i.e. which aimed for 45% by 2009 and 50% by 2014). But we need to boost the recovery rate further. To this end, we will introduce a series of complementary measures and engage the relevant government departments, district councils, community organisations, the property management trade, restaurant operators and social services groups in order to raise the environmental awareness of the people in all walks of life and broaden their participation in waste reduction and recycling. Our objective is to raise the waste recovery rate to 55% by 2015.

The treatment capacity of waste treatment facilities was determined after a detailed analysis of various relevant factors. For instance, in planning the development of the local integrated waste treatment facilities (IWTF), we have reviewed the treatment capacities of similar facilities in other densely populated cities (such as Singapore which features similar demographic and geographical characteristics as Hong Kong) as well as our overall strategy on waste transfer and treatment (i.e. sending most of our local waste for compaction and containerisation at refuse transfer stations before transfer to landfills by marine transport). The final recommendation was phased development of IWMF in an appropriate scale with the daily capacity of the first phase IWTF set at 3 000 tonnes.

Currently, Hong Kong disposes of about 3 240 tonnes of food waste a day, of which about 840 tonnes are generated by the commercial and industrial (C&I) sector. Most of these food wastes end up in landfills. To address the problem of dumping food waste at landfills, the Government has adopted a multi-pronged approach. The key strategy is to prevent and minimise food waste generation and promote recovery and recycling to cope with unavoidable food waste through publicity, education and public participation. As storage of a large amount of food waste will give rise to odour nuisance and hygiene problems, it is not desirable to compact and containerise food waste at existing refuse transfer stations prior to long distance delivery. Instead, the food waste should be directly delivered to separate purpose-built facilities for special treatment. To this end, the Government plans to develop two organic waste treatment facilities (OWTF) with a daily capacity of 200-300 tonnes to treat source-separated biodegradable food waste from C&I establishments. A working group comprising representatives from the restaurant, hotel, property management and food manufacturing trades has been set up to draw up guidelines on ways to minimise, separate and recover food waste food waste. Through our site search study in 2007, we have identified possible sites at Siu Ho Wan of North Lantau and Sha Ling of North District for development of the first and second phases of the OWTF to treat food waste generated by the C&I sector in North Lantau, West Kowloon and Northern New Territories. We will also conduct site search studies for developing OWTF in other districts.

(c) We are committed to stepping up our efforts in reducing waste at source and recycling, as this is the only permanent solution to relieve the pressure for waste treatment. However, waste reduction at source and recycling cannot completely resolve waste problems in Hong Kong. The experience in Europe and other advanced cities shows that, even after the implementation of various measures on waste reduction at source, there is still a substantial amount of waste that cannot be recovered which requires treatment. As in Hong Kong, these cities handle their wastes by incineration in modern waste treatment facilities and landfilling the resultant ash.

For Hong Kong, there will still be a huge amount of MSW that cannot be recovered or recycled, amounting to about 8 000 tonnes per day (tpd), which requires treatment even after the target recovery rate of 55% is achieved. Given that our three landfills will become saturated in the next few years, we must plan for waste treatment by modern waste treatment facilities at the earliest opportunity to bring about a substantial reduction in landfilled waste. In view of the lead time required for planning and construction of waste treatment facilities, we must immediately commence the preparatory work for the first integrated waste management facility (IWMF) with a treatment capacity of 3 000 tpd and the two organic waste treatment facilities (at Siu Ho Wan and Sha Ling respectively).

(d)(i) The proposed site for the IWMF was chosen on the basis of substantial scientific studies and analyses and has taken into account the territory-wide spatial distribution of waste treatment facilities. We first conducted an initial territory-wide site selection study to examine the preliminary data of all possible sites in 2007-08 before identifying the sites at Tsang Tsui Ash Lagoons (TTAL) in Tuen Mun and the artificial island near Shek Kwu Chau (SKC) for further consideration in 2008.

As required under the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance and the Technical Memorandum on the Environment Impact Assessment, we have conducted detailed environmental impact assessments (EIA) for the development of IWMF at these two sites to evaluate the cumulative impact of the project and other projects in respect of noise, air, water quality, waste, ecology, landscape and cultural heritage. The EIA report also recommended suitable mitigation measures to be adopted for ensuring that the environmental impact was limited to an acceptable level. It also recommended an environmental monitoring and audit programme for ensuring the effectiveness of these measures.

The EIA findings indicated that both phased and simultaneous development of IWMF at the two sites would meet the EIA requirements. Having considered the spatial distribution of our waste management facilities, environmental factors and transport efficiency, the Government selected the artificial island next to SKC as the site for the first IWMF on the following grounds:

- The proposed choice ensures a more balanced spatial distribution of waste facilities. For the Western New Territories, there is West New Territories Landfill and the proposed West New Territories Landfill extension. There is also a sludge treatment facility with a capacity of 2 000 tpd under construction at TTAL. For the North New Territories, there is North East New Territories Landfill and the proposed landfill extension. For the East New Territories, there is South East New Territories Landfill and proposed landfill extension. For the urban area, there is Tsing Yi Chemical Waste Treatment Centre. The development of the IWMF at the southern tip of Hong Kong will help achieve a more balanced spatial distribution of facilities;

- The artificial island next to SKC is closer to the Island East, Island West and Kowloon refuse transfer stations, the catchment area for the IWMF. The sea route for delivering solid waste from these stations to the artificial island next to SKC is shorten by 25% when compared with the route to TTAL in West New Territories. Moreover, the choice would not cause significant impact on the marine traffic in the area. Instead, it can help reduce the marine traffic in Ma Wan;

- The SKC site is far away from the densely populated areas. It is located at about 3.5 to 5 km from Cheung Chau, which is not in the direction of prevailing wind (northeasterly wind towards southwest in the sea). The IWMF will have advanced incineration technology and air cleansing systems on site to further minimise impact caused by gas emission on ambient air quality and, hence, the residents nearby; and

- The IWMF and its on-site educational and community facilities under planning would bring considerable economic benefits to the nearby islands (especially Cheung Chau). Apart from more jobs and ferry services, the development will also bring in streams of workers and visitors that will, in turn, generate other economic activities and benefits.

(ii) Regarding the overall costs, we are working on the estimates for the construction and operation costs of the integrated facilities, the necessary equipment and ancillary facilities. We will seek funding from the Legislative Council after completing the estimates.

(iii) Regarding the economic benefits generated during the construction and operation of the IWMF, there will be about 1,000 workers working on the island and in the surrounding waters during the peak construction period. When it commences operation, there will be about 200 workers working every day in the facility. Besides, the education centre and associated facilities for visitors at the IWMF under planning will also draw in students as well as other visitors. As the site on SKC is far from the urban areas, Cheung Chau will serve as its key back-up area, both during the construction and operation of the IWMF. This will provide a great boost to the economic activities related to accommodation, retail and catering trades in Cheung Chau. As for the TTAL site, it would also draw in comparable number of engineering staff, workers and visitors. But given its more convenient land transport, they are expected to spend less time at the nearby communities. As such, this option would generate less economic benefits for the local communities.
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Old February 28th, 2012, 10:20 AM   #43
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LCQ19: South East New Territories Landfill
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Government Press Release

Following is a question by the Hon Ip Wai-ming and a written reply by the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Edward Yau, in the Legislative Council meeting today (February 1):

Questions:

The South East New Territories (SENT) Landfill, which is located in Area 101 at Tseung Kwan O and was commissioned in 1994, was originally expected to be exhausted by around 2013. The Government earlier pointed out that as the Integrated Waste Management Facilities which could effectively reduce the volume of waste requiring disposal at landfills would only be commissioned in mid 2010s, extension of the SENT Landfill in early to mid 2010s was therefore necessary. Apart from the odour from the SENT Landfill which affects the nearby residents, quite a number of drivers have recently complained to me that many dump trucks going in and out of the SENT Landfill via Wan Po Road are not properly covered with canvas, causing environmental pollution in the vicinity of Wan Po Road, and traffic accidents frequently occur there because stones and sand dropping from the cargo compartments of those dump trucks hit and break the windows of other vehicles on the road. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council :

(a) of the number of complaints about odour from the SENT Landfill received each month by the authorities in the past three years; whether the authorities have any new measure in place to alleviate the odour nuisance from the landfill; if they have, of the details and the implementation timetable; if not, the reasons for that;

(b) whether the authorities had received any complaint in the past three years about environmental pollution in the vicinity of Wan Po Road; if they had, of the number and contents of such complaints;

(c) among the traffic accidents which occurred on Wan Po Road in the past three years, of the number of those involving dump trucks; whether the authorities have analysed the causes of such traffic accidents; if they have, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

(d) whether the authorities had prosecuted dump truck drivers in the past three years for overloading or non-compliance with environmental protection measures; if they had, of the number of such prosecutions and the offences involved in general; if not, the reasons for that; whether the authorities have provided guidelines to advise vehicles entering the SENT Landfill to enhance their protective facilities; if they have, of the details; if not, whether they will consider formulating such guidelines; and

(e) whether the authorities have conducted any environmental pollution survey in Tseung Kwan O district since the commissioning of the SENT Landfill; if they have, of the details; if not, whether the authorities have any plan to conduct a comprehensive environmental pollution survey in the district?

Reply:

President,

Hong Kong is now facing an imminent waste management problem. At present, about 13,500 tonnes of waste are disposed of daily at the three strategic landfills, namely South East New Territories (SENT) Landfill, North East New Territories Landfill and West New Territories Landfill and these three landfills are estimated to be exhausted in 2014, 2016 and 2018 respectively. To resolve the imminent waste management problem in a comprehensive and timely manner, the Government announced on January 4, 2011 a revised waste management strategy and its updated action plan to tackle the waste management problem in Hong Kong in the long run. With the initiatives of "Reduce, Recycle and Proper Waste Management", the Government brings up three strategies which include promoting waste reduction and recycling at source, introducing modern waste treatment facilities and timely extension of landfills.

Since early 2004 when the SENT Landfill extension project was at its conceptual and feasibility study stage, the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) has already started the consultation with all stakeholders. After prolonged discussion, the Government understands the views of the residents of Tseung Kwan O town on the SENT Landfill extension, and has positively addressed their concerns by scaling down the extension scheme. This means the reduced scheme will not occupy 5-hectares of the Clear Water Bay Country Park, the area of landfill extension in Tseung Kwan O Area 137 will be reduced to 13 hectares (as against the original 15.6 hectares), and the proposed SENT Landfill extension will only receive odourless waste (namely construction waste), in order to solve the odour problem of the landfill. We believe that if the revised SENT Landfill extension scheme could be implemented, the future SENT Landfill extension will only receive construction waste which is odourless, and the concerns from the residents will then be fully addressed.

Regarding the question raised by the Hon Ip, our replies are as follows:

(a) The number of odour complaints in Tseung Kwan O received by EPD relating to the landfill in the past three years is as follows:

2009 2010 2011
January 4 0 5
February 2 9 14
March 4 32 12
April 9 14 23
May 27 22 74
June 170 91 194
July 130 108 299
August 137 256 320
September 42 121 81
October 9 29 20
November 12 32 73
December 2 39 5
Total 548 753 1,120

To minimise the environmental impacts of the landfill on the surrounding areas, the landfill was designed and constructed to a high standard as a secure containment facility incorporating composite impermeable liner systems and proper systems for the collection and treatment of landfill gas and leachate. To address the concerns from the Tseung Kwan O residents on odour nuisance, the EPD has stepped up odour management and control measures over the past five years to further abate the potential odour impact of the landfill. These measures include covering the tipping areas with a layer of soil and then Posi-Shell Cover, a cement-based cover material, at the end of the daily waste reception process; covering the non-active tipping areas with temporary impermeable liners; setting up fixed deodorisers at the landfill boundary; providing additional mobile deodorisers at the tipping area; putting a mobile cover on the special waste trench; and installing additional landfill gas extraction pipes and mobile landfill gas flaring units. The EPD will continue to implement the above measures and ensure that the completed waste disposal areas are capped and restored promptly.

Refuse collection vehicles are one of the potential odour sources. To improve the cleanliness of these vehicles leaving the landfill, the EPD has upgraded the existing wheel washing facility into a full-body vehicle washing facility to ensure that the entire body of every refuse collection vehicle is washed before leaving the landfill to minimise the odour nuisance caused by such vehicles. To mitigate the potential odour problem caused by dripping leachate from refuse collection vehicles, the EPD will continue to step up the cleansing work for the section of Wan Po Road between the SENT Landfill and the roundabout at Hang Hau and review the effectiveness of this measure regularly.

(b) Between 2009 and 2011, the EPD received three odour emission complaints and seven dust emission cases against vehicles passing Wan Po Road.

(c) The traffic accident database does not have a separate category for dump trucks in its vehicle records. We have been informed that there were about 10 traffic accidents on Wan Po Road per year involving medium and heavy goods vehicles in the past three years, but there is no information on whether the accidents were related to conveying fill debris.

(d) The database on prosecution does not have a separate category for dump trucks in its vehicle records. As for vehicles entering the SENT Landfill, the EPD will remind the trade to cover properly the construction waste during conveyance to prevent dust emission or materials from falling off on the road at its regular meetings with the trade and through distribution of leaflets at the landfill.

(e) In response to the concerns from the Sai Kung District Council and residents, the EPD closely monitors and takes follow-up actions on the environmental problems in Tseung Kwan O including individual issues of concern such as odour. For example, electronic odour detection systems (i.e. electronic nose) were installed at Ocean Shores and SENT Landfill to help identify the nature and source of odour. For odour complaint cases, the EPD will promptly investigate and follow up. For instance, it will understand the odour situation at complaint location, identify the odour source and provide timely assistance. The EPD even extends the work shift of its staff to 11pm to handle odour complaints received outside office hours for the period between June and October when there are more odour complaints.

In addition, the Sai Kung District Officer has established an inter-departmental working group comprising representatives from the Sai Kung District Office, EPD, Hong Kong Police Force, Transport Department, Civil Engineering and Development Department, Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, Drainage Services Department, Sai Kung District Lands Office and Highways Department, to strengthen the co-ordination of investigation and follow-up actions among government departments to tackle environmental nuisances in Tseung Kwan O, including Wan Po Road. Since its establishment in 2005, the Group has held many meetings, implemented improvement measures at Wan Po Road and its vicinity, and conducted joint enforcement and prosecution operations.
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Old March 6th, 2012, 11:24 AM   #44
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Yau rubbishes fears on incinerator policy
The Standard
Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Building a new incinerator is an essential part of the government's strategy for solid waste management, a senior official said.

Secretary for the Environment Edward Yau Tang-wah was addressing legislators' concerns yesterday that the government might abandon the incinerator plan if chief executive candidate Leung Chun-ying wins on March 25.

Civic Party lawmaker Audrey Eu Yuet-mee noted at a special Finance Committee meeting scrutinizing the 2012 budget that Leung's election platform states that the SAR may do without incinerators. His rivals Henry Tang Ying-yen and Albert Ho Chun-yan thought otherwise, she said.

Yau insisted that the government will stick with the "holistic" strategy for solid waste reduction that includes an incinerator.

"Experience in Europe and other developed cities shows that, even with the implementation of various measures on waste reduction at source, there is still a substantial amount of waste that cannot be recovered which requires treatment," he said.

"In the context of Hong Kong, even if the target recovery rate of 55 percent is achieved, there will still be about 8,000 tonnes of [municipal solid waste] that cannot be recovered or recycled and which requires treatment on a daily basis," he added. This is why an incinerator is essential.

"We are developing a sludge treatment facility which employs state-of-the-art incineration technology," Yau said. "It is expected to be commissioned in 2013. By then, daily disposal of sludge at landfills will be reduced by nearly 1,000 tonnes.

" It will also demonstrate how modern technology can serve as an effective means in tackling the problem of [municipal solid waste]."

There are plans to increase the plant's capacity from 800 tonnes to 2,000 tonnes of waste a day.
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Old March 28th, 2012, 06:11 PM   #45
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Cut incinerator plan, urge waste fighters
The Standard
Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Concern groups say the need to build an incinerator may be eliminated if the government makes a greater effort at reducing and recycling waste.

Several environmental experts, green activists, resident committee members and those in trade associations yesterday met the panel of environmental affairs to air their views on the three-pronged "Reduce, Recycle and Proper Waste Management" plan.

It emphasizes the reduction of waste at source, the timely extension of landfills and incineration.

But activists say there is no need for the incinerator if the government gets citizens to reduce and recycle waste.

"We can do without an incinerator and relying on only landfills," Friends of the Earth deputy environmental affairs manager Michelle Au Wing- tsz said yesterday.

"Taiwan and South Korea have shown that reducing waste at its source is more more sustainable in the long-term than the expensive and environmentally damaging route of incineration."

In 2010, about 52percent of municipal solid waste was recycled and the rest went into landfills. But the waste recovery rate is much higher in Seoul and Taipei, standing at 68percent and 58percent respectively.

According to Designing Hong Kong head Paul Zimmerman, an alternative would be a system that encourages waste recycling.

"One example would be a producer-pays policy, enacted in many countries, where a customer returns the plastic or glass packaging of certain products to a recycling center and receives a nominal payment," Zimmerman said.

The government is seeking nearly HK$15 billion to fund construction of a giant incinerator on 16 hectares of reclaimed land at Shek Kwu Chau, an island south of Lantau.

This would open up an alternative waste disposal channel, complementing the use of landfills that handle about 13,800 tonnes of waste daily.

The territory's last incinerator was shut down in 1997 amid pollution concerns.

Environment Secretary Edward Yau Tang-wah said the reduction and recycling of waste is the priority of his department, but this method alone is insufficient.

"We need a a three-pronged approach that includes incineration," he said. "No country can solve its waste problems through just recovery."
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Old April 14th, 2012, 08:32 AM   #46
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Quickfire funding on waste projects urged
The Standard
Thursday, March 22, 2012

Environment officials plan to ask the Legislative Council to pass existing landfill extensions and incinerator projects in a bundle and complete funding approval in June before the handover to the new government.

Documents released yesterday by the Legislative Council panel on environmental affairs show the Environment Bureau will seek a quickfire approval of funding for extending three landfill sites.

According to the bureau and the Environment Protection Department, all waste treatment projects should be pursued as a package.

"Any delay of this package would seriously impact on the ability of Hong Kong to handle waste and maintain the environmental hygiene expected of an international city," the department said.

Subject to funding approval, the advanced waste treatment facilities will require seven years for reclamation, construction and commissioning.

On landfill extensions, they require a few years for site preparation work before commissioning.

The combined capital costs of a mega-incinerator capable of burning 3,000 tonnes of waste each day and extending landfills in Tseung Kwan O, Tuen Mun and North District will be just over HK$23 billion.

The government plans to build a giant incinerator on 16 hectares of reclaimed land at Shek Kwu Chau, an island south of Lantau.

Environmentalists say the super incinerator is not the best option for waste management and would pose a threat to marine life in the area. The project is one of the largest and most expensive of its kind in the world and will cost between HK$8 billion and HK$13 billion.

The incinerator would emit about 2,900 tonnes of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide and 217 tonnes of respirable suspended particles per year.

Earlier this month, Environment Secretary Edward Yau Tang-wah insisted that the government will stick with the "holistic" strategy for solid waste reduction that includes an incinerator.

In January, the department launched a three- month public consultation on proposals to cut the massive piles of waste produced by Hongkongers annually.

Each day they dump 19,000 tonnes of solid waste - with 9,100 tonnes going to landfills. About two-thirds is domestic waste.

The four proposed schemes to wage a war on waste include a quantity-based system, water proxy system, fixed-charge system and a part-charge system at the disposal site.

Under the proposals, fees may be charged according to the number or weight of rubbish bags; or be linked to water consumption; or charged at a fixed rate, with residents of the same district paying the same amount regardless of how much waste they produce; or there may be variable rates for waste producers in commerce and industry.

Results of the consultation, which ends on April 10, will be delivered to the Legislative Council for consideration.
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Old June 6th, 2012, 05:02 PM   #47
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What a waste
The Standard
Monday, May 28, 2012

Many tonnes of food that could feed thousands of poor and needy is trashed by the four supermarket chains each day.

Green group Friends of the Earth said unsold food dumped by ParknShop, Wellcome, China Resources Vanguard and Jusco amounts to about 87 tonnes - but about one third, or 29 tonnes, of it is edible.

Presenting its waste outrage another way, the group said the amount of food dumped by the four chains' 650 stores each year is equivalent in weight to about 2,000 double-decker buses.

Friends of the Earth conducted a study from January to the end of last month by visiting refuse stations used by five supermarket outlets in Kowloon East, Kowloon West and Hong Kong Island and found an average amount of food waste per outlet of 134 kilograms.

About a third was unspoiled items including bread, vegetables, meat and sushi that had not reached an expiry date. Some meat and bread was good for another week when tossed away.

The refuse sleuths also found that supermarket staff unwrapped some packaged food and poured in water to discourage scavengers.

The alarming study is another wake- up call to authorities who spend their time looking for new landfills rather than reducing waste at source, said Friends of the Earth environmental affairs officer Celia Fung Sze-lai.

Supermarkets not only use landfills at an alarming rate but also deprive the poor of much-needed food, she said.

"Under the extreme disparity between the rich and the poor, grassroots are struggli
ng for every meal. Yet supermarkets dump 29 tonnes of perfectly good food every day. That's irresponsible behavior."

With a market share as high as 53 percent, Fung argued, the chains should show corporate responsibility.

So her group wants supermarkets to donate still-edible food to charity groups and turn expired or rotten food into compost.

Fung also urged officials to follow the example of Britain, which in September scrapped the "best before" food label. That indicates a cutoff date on premium quality rather than a date after which it is unsafe.

"Supermarkets are throwing away perfectly good food with the 'best- before' label because their staff are unaware of what it means and they fear penalties for leaving the food on the shelves," she said.

The four chains each explained about monitoring systems for expiry dates and how food is cleared from shelves in the cause of safety and quality. China Resources also said it will consider donating, food but first it has to study how to ensure quality. And a Wellcome spokeswoman said the chain has held promotions just before the expiry dates of some food products as part of its waste-reduction policy.

Connie Ng Man-yin, service manager of St James' Settlement People's Food Bank, said supermarkets would be encouraged to donate if they were protected should someone fall sick. Donations from supermarkets would be a big step to reduce the reliance of charities on canned food, added Ng, who is involved in a program that helps around 2,000 needy people.

But Friends of the Earth quoted a ParknShop spokesman as saying the amount of food thrown out is minimal and the chain will not consider recycling or donating fresh food to charity.
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Old June 12th, 2012, 03:53 PM   #48
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Islanders backed in incinerator battle
The Standard
Friday, June 08, 2012

The High Court has granted leave for a judicial review launched by four Cheung Chau residents over a government plan to build a waste incinerator on Shek Kwu Chau.

High Court judge Thomas Au Hing- cheung accepted all four applications.

A three-day hearing of the first case will begin on November 14.

Lawyers representing the group claim the Environmental Impact Assessment report on the multibillion dollar project is defective.

They say the report is totally inconsistent with the technical requirements of an environmental study, does not explain the reasons for constructing incinerators and does not include any feasible alternatives.

They also question the justification for building an incinerator, namely that landfills are being exhausted.

The impact of the incinerator on water quality and ecological environment is also inadequately covered in regard to contaminant leakage, public safety and health, they claim.

But counsel for the government say the report has already explained that a pressing need exists for the construction of the incinerator, and there is no alternative other than building it on Shek Kwu Chau.
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Old August 29th, 2012, 08:34 PM   #49
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SEN inspects EcoPark's waste recycling facilities in Tuen Mun
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Government Press Release











The Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, today (August 29) visited the EcoPark in Tuen Mun to inspect the progress made by tenants in the collection and recycling of recyclable items, and to learn more about their businesses in order to help review Hong Kong's recycling policy.

Mr Wong said the Chief Executive's election manifesto identified waste reduction at source as the focus of waste management policy, of which waste reduction remains the top priority. Mr Wong emphasised that the Government has all along been working proactively in the promotion of waste reduction and recycling as well as collaborating with various sectors to provide recycling facilities with a view to achieving the 55 per cent waste recovery target in 2015.

The EcoPark is one of the Government's main initiatives in supporting the development of local green industries, and it is open to any recycling operations that process local recycling materials. The EcoPark provides affordable land as well as auxiliary facilities including water and electricity supply, sewage discharge and a pier for use by the recycling and environmental industry.

Mr Wong first toured the visitor centre in the EcoPark administration building. With a floor area of around 1,000 square metres, it is Hong Kong's first large-scale education centre with waste as its theme. The centre is divided into eight areas where display panels, models, video clips and interactive games are provided to illustrate Hong Kong's waste management system and to promote the importance of waste reduction and recycling. Since opening in 2010, the centre has received more than 2,000 organisations and schools including around 50,000 visitors in an effort to spread the message of recycling.

Mr Wong visited four Eco Park tenants. Two were non-governmental organisations (NGOs), namely Yan Oi Tong EcoPark Plastic Resources Recycling Centre and the St James' Settlement "WEEE GO GREEN" EcoPark, which process waste plastic and waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) respectively. He also called in at the Li Tong Group, which recycles waste electronic and computer equipment, and Champway Technology Limited, which recycles waste cooking oil and restaurant waste. Mr Wong was briefed on the collection and processing of different types of recyclables during his tour of the tenants' plants. The two NGO tenants also briefed Mr Wong on their programmes and activities to promote recycling in schools and the community.

Located on Lung Mun Road in Tuen Mun, the 20-hectare EcoPark has been developed in two phases to provide 14 hectares of rentable area for the recycling and environmental industry. All six lots in Phase 1, with an area of about four hectares, have been leased. Phase 2 occupies 10 hectares of rentable area, in which two lots have been leased to Yan Oi Tong and St James' Settlement for running their recycling centres, and five lots are for the recycling of waste metals, waste batteries, waste construction material and waste glass, WEEE and waste rubber tyres. These five tenants are now fully engaged in planning for the construction of their plants, with the target of commissioning their respective operations in 2013.
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Old October 8th, 2012, 05:36 PM   #50
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Message in a bottle
The Standard
Friday, October 05, 2012

That bottled water you just bought from a convenience store, or the plastic bag the wet market vendor gave you - these are just some of those mundane things you use and likely throw away every day. But do you ever wonder where the trash ends up?

The answer, unfortunately, is our oceans. And they are choking to death. Scientists say between 70 and 80 percent of the world's oxygen comes from the ocean. If the oceans die, that is the end for us human beings as well.

"While 80 percent of all the trash in the sea comes from land, nearly 80 percent of that is plastic," says Jo Ruxton, a veteran British underwater documentary maker who has directed a film - Plastic Oceans - on this man-made disaster.

With landfills mostly full to bursting, it is common to find plastic running with rainwater, blown by the wind, or carried along by rivers, eventually making its way into the ocean.

"The giant ocean currents soon pick up the plastics and move them toward the center," Ruxton says. "As they travel, with sunlight, waves and winds, they start to break up into smaller pieces - about the size of plankton, one of the smallest organisms in the food chain. The little fish that fed on plankton are now eating plastic."

And it not just about plastic getting into the systems of fish, but the synthetic material has become a favored ride for waterborne toxins, as they pick up industrial and agricultural wastes that are dumped into the sea.

So each time small fish get eaten by bigger ones, the toxins get magnified as they go up the food chain, to eventually affect those at the top - fish-eating humans. Plastic pollution in seawater is not just an environmental problem, but also a major health issue.

Ruxton, previously with the BBC's Natural History Unit diving team, which made celebrated nature documentaries including Blue Planet, was approached about making a film on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch - a spinning vortex of trash out in the North Pacific Ocean.

But she soon realized that "there wasn't a big floating mass. The problem wasn't just one North Pacific Ocean - it's all over the world."

"We have been filming birds that ingested plastic. They starved to death but strangely had their stomachs full - of plastics," Ruxton says. "They were not putting on any weight and were not strong enough to fly. The birds just picked up things from the surface of the sea that looked tasty, but were actually plastics, and fed them to their chicks."

Ruxton and her crew were able to identify huge amounts of plastic waste, but the surprise came when they dragged a fine mesh net over the water surface. The net caught tiny plastic particles that could barely be seen by the naked eye. And those are some of the major troublemakers in this plastic pollution problem.

That is how the idea of making Plastic Oceans was born, to show what the problem truly is, what is the extent of it and how it is upsetting the balance of wildlife and ultimately threatening human health. To source funding for the project, Ruxton formed the Plastic Oceans Foundation, a charity that will continue to educate the next generation about plastic pollution after the film's release early next year.

Foundation chief executive Howard Lack believes the film is a powerful medium to start spreading the message. He also recognizes the significance of changing the way that governments look at the issue.

"Even if we do use plastic, we should not let it get into the environment. Technology providers have suggested that solutions are available in recovering and reusing the resource," Lack says.

"It's a valuable resource, not waste."

And he warns: "The legacy that we are leaving to our children is appalling. Our children are going to be the next in line to pay for this. We are being so naive and shortsighted about the way we use our resources."

The foundation is still raising funds to finish the film. To donate, visit its website at http://plasticoceans.net.
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Old October 27th, 2012, 01:47 PM   #51
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Waste statistics for 2011 published
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Government Press Release

The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) today (October 17) issued the report "Monitoring of Solid Waste in Hong Kong - Waste Statistics for 2011". The report presents the 2011 statistics on disposal and recovery of solid waste, including municipal solid waste (comprising domestic, commercial and industrial waste), construction waste and other categories of waste in Hong Kong.

According to the report, the average daily quantity of solid waste disposed of at landfills was 13,458 tonnes, representing a reduction of 2.6 per cent as compared to 2010. The quantities of landfilled municipal solid waste, domestic waste and construction waste were reduced by 1.3 per cent, 2.7 per cent and 7 per cent respectively, while commercial and industrial waste increased slightly by 1.5 per cent compared to 2010.

Looking at the figures from a medium range perspective, domestic waste disposal has dropped cumulatively by 15 per cent since 2004 (before the implementation of "A Policy Framework for the Management of Municipal Solid Waste 2005 - 2014") while commercial and industrial waste disposal has remained steady in the past few years. On a per-capita basis, the municipal solid waste disposal rate, now about 1.27 kilograms per day, is also on a downward trend. Regarding construction waste, the quantity being disposed of at landfills has dropped by 50 per cent since the implementation of the Construction Waste Disposal Charging Scheme in 2006, while the recovery rate of inert construction materials delivered to public fill reception facilities and other outlets has remained above 90 per cent in the past few years.

Compared to 2010, the quantity of waste plastics disposed of at landfills has decreased by 0.09 million tonnes or 13 per cent, yet there has been a significant decrease in the quantity exported for recycling by 0.73 million tonnes – a decrease of 47 per cent. These reductions have resulted in a drop in the municipal solid waste recovery rate from 52 per cent in 2010 to 48 per cent in 2011, after a cumulative rise of 12 per cent since 2004. The waste recovery rate is calculated as the ratio of total waste recovered (including export) to waste generated.

The report, which is available in electronic format, can be obtained from the EPD website at http://www.wastereduction.gov.hk/en/...fo/msw2011.pdf.
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Old February 5th, 2013, 11:35 AM   #52
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Quick thinkers sought to weigh waste ideas
The Standard
Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The public was urged yesterday to take a realistic view of incinerators and landfills and see them as essential for handling waste.

Environment chief Wong Kam-sing said landfills at Tuen Mun, Tseung Kwan O and Ta Kwu Ling will be full in two to six years, so preparations for expansion or replacement are needed.

"We will have to discuss possible options some time this year, including the timetable, capacity and technology used in landfill expansion and incinerators," Wong said.

Noting that it would take up to eight years for a new incinerator to be up and running, he added: "Discussing the options today does not mean we will do it now, but it's not responsible to ignore such discussion and action.

"At the end of the day we will have to include incinerators in our development blueprint and discuss their role for waste treatment." And the blueprint would include matters such as waste classification at landfills.

Christine Loh Kung-wai, the undersecretary for the environment, said on Sunday Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has never ruled out incinerators as a waste-treatment option.

But Green Sense president Roy Tam Hoi-pong said expansion of landfills and incinerators should be a last resort.

"Before considering these options the government should be more determined to reduce waste at source such as implementing solid-waste charging even if it is difficult to enforce."

That could lessen the need for landfill space and incinerators, Tam said, though either option - a charge system or opening more facilities - is sure to spark opposition from residents.

Patrick Fung Kin-wai, campaign manager of Clean Air Network, said whether his group will back incinerators depends on the kind of technology used.

"We believe that the more advanced the incinerators the less pollution," he said.

Friends of the Earth environmental affairs manager Chu Hon- keung said it may not be possible to implement solid-waste charging in 2016 as hoped as legislative elections are set in 2016 and the chief executive election in 2017.
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Old May 13th, 2013, 09:27 AM   #53
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Plan for waste incinerators set to be fired up
The Standard
Monday, May 13, 2013

Hong Kong needs to use waste incineration for sustainable development, the environment minister said ahead of the release of a waste management blueprint.

Wong Kam-sing said that as soon as legal challenges against a proposal to build state-of-the-art incineration facilities are addressed, the government will restart the study.

Wong, secretary for the environment, earlier visited Seoul and found that its incinerators can handle 20 percent of the city's waste.

Although Hongkongers may not welcome incinerators and landfills, he believes these are necessary for sustainable waste management.

A blueprint on waste management policy, which will be released this month, will set out the goal of reducing waste in the next decade.

Wong said he hopes the public will understand the challenges of handling waste in Hong Kong.

The recycling rate here is about 48percent with about 50percent of waste going to landfills, he said.

The blueprint will increase the proportion of recycling.

Meanwhile, the plastic bag levy is likely to be extended to all retail outlets by the middle of next year.

Wong believes some shops will switch to paper bags and hopes the public will bring their own boxes to carry food, to cut single-use products.

He expressed concern over the filibustering in the Legislative Council, which might affect operations of the HK$5 billion environmental fund.

Green Sense spokesman Roy Tam Hoi-pong said the government should launch a waste-charging policy before considering incinerators.

"A charge is effective to reduce waste in many places. For instance, Taipei has seen its waste reduced more than 70 percent after waste charging," Tam said.

He also called on the commercial sector to minimize waste.
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Old May 28th, 2013, 06:43 AM   #54
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Action plan unveiled to cut waste by 40pc
The Standard
Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Households may soon have to fork out a waste management fee of HK$20 per person per month as part of a long-term strategy to cut solid waste by nearly half in 10 years' time, the environment chief has said.

Wong Kam-sing said waste charges will play a key part in the government's 10-year "Blueprint for Sustainable Use of Resources."

Legislation to slap on the charges is expected to be put forward sometime in 2016 or 2017.

Wong said the government has a target to reduce the rate of disposable waste by 40percent on a per-capita basis by 2022. The target is "ambitious but feasible," he said.

According to the Environmental Protection Department, each person in Hong Kong dumps an average of 1.27 kilograms of waste each day and the government aims to reduce that to 1kg by 2017 and 0.8 kg by 2022.

"Handling a tonne of waste costs HK$520, but the charges will not be high. In Seoul, the average fee is about HK$20 per person per month. If one can reduce waste, the charge will range from HK$10 to HK$20 per month," Wong said.

Wong expects waste recycling, incineration facilities and landfill disposal will account for 55 percent, 23 percent and 22 percent respectively by 2022, compared to the current 52 percent for landfill disposal and 48 percent for recycling.

Wong said the incinerator will be built after the current judicial review against the plan to build one on Shek Kwu Chau has ended.

"Building one or two incinerators is not the question," Wong said. "We expect to handle 3,000 tonnes of waste each day."

In addition, the landfills in Tuen Mun, Ta Kwu Ling and Tseung Kwan O will be expanded by 200, 70 and 13 hectares, respectively.

Friends of the Earth assistant environmental affairs manager Miranda Yip Pui-wah said building incinerators and expanding landfills is not an ideal solution but it is inevitable.

Greeners Action executive director Angus Ho Hon-wai urged the authorities to monitor the air quality in neighborhoods that are near landfills so residents will feel comfortable living there.

"The government should strengthen development of the recycling industry and encourage grassroots to join the industry," said Cyd Ho Sau- lan, chairperson of the Legislative Council Panel on Environmental Affairs.

Meanwhile, Sai Kung district council member Christine Fong Kwok-shan is disappointed that the landfill in Tseung Kwan O will be expanded.
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Old May 28th, 2013, 06:19 PM   #55
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Panel 'no' puts landfill plan on shaky ground
The Standard
Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A lawmakers' panel has said no to the expansion of the Tseung Kwan O landfill.

The non-binding motion at the Legislative Council's panel on environmental affairs was passed with nine in favor, four against and no abstentions.

It came despite a warning from Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam- sing that without expansion of the landfill, Hong Kong will be overrun with garbage.

Landfill expansion is a key plank of the 10-year "Blueprint for Sustainable Use of Resources" aimed to reduce the rate of disposable waste by 40percent on a per-capita basis by 2022.

Wong insisted the HK$8.9 billion expansion, planned since 2003 to include three landfills, is needed even with recycling.

The government is seeking funding approval from Legco to expand the landfills in Ta Kwu Ling, Tuen Mun and Tseung Kwan O, which are expected to be full by 2020.

The Tseung Kwan O landfill, which was to be expanded by 13 hectares, will be the first to hit saturation point next year or in 2015.

Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong lawmaker Elizabeth Quat Pui-fan, asked: "Have you even experienced the bad odor suffered by the people living near the sites?"

Helena Wong Pik-wan of the Democratic Party said that in South Korea, 20 percent of municipal waste is still disposed of in landfills despite 60 percent of it being recycled and another 20 percent incinerated.

"The success that we can see in Taiwan and Japan has been worked for decades. But Hong Kong in this early stage is working step by step towards the South Korean model," Wong said.

Insurance lawmaker Chan Kin-por, who agreed with the government plan, fears the city will face more trouble if a decision on landfill expansion cannot be made. "We can't risk putting the city to be surrounded by garbage, it would be a disaster," Chan said.

Meanwhile, around 20 Tseung Kwan O residents protested outside Legco, urging the scrapping of the landfill plan.

They said the foul smell coming from the landfill is unbearable, and complained that it has severely worsened hygiene conditions in the area.

Residents warned they would seek a judicial review against the proposal.

Sai Kung district councillor Christine Fong Kwok-shan accused the environment secretary of threatening the public, and said the government should find an alternative site.

Friends of the Earth environmental affairs officer Celia Fung Sze-lai called for more support in general for the recycling industry.
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Old June 26th, 2013, 09:12 AM   #56
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TKO landfill plan likely dumped
The Standard
Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A proposal to expand the Tseung Kwan O landfill will likely be withdrawn by the government before it is put to the vote in the Legislative Council today, sources say.

This is because leading political parties have said they will vote against it.

But the government could still go ahead with the expansion proposals of two other landfills - Tuen Mun and Ta Kwu Ling.

The Tseung Kwan O landfill has faced the stiffest opposition because of its proximity to residential areas.

After meeting with Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor last night, Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions lawmaker Alice Mak Mei-kuen said they will vote against the expansion of the Tseung Kwan O and Tuen Mun landfills as the government has failed to expand road and rail networks and it does not have a specific environment-protection plan.

As for the Ta Kwu Ling landfill, the FTU will take into account the government's proposal to address the district's affordability.

The pan-democrats, FTU and Liberal Party earlier said they opposed the plan while the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, which has seven votes, will "say no" to the Tseung Kwan O landfill plan.

DAB chairman Tam Yiu-chung called on the government to immediately carry out its promises, including amending legislation, improving garbage trucks, and accepting only construction waste at landfills to solve the problem of odor.

Tam said the DAB will not support any expansion plan that does not come with improvement work.

"If the plan is so urgent, they should immediately activate [the improvement work]," he said. "Improvement first, then expansion."

Tam said the DAB will support funding for the Tuen Mun landfill as its expansion will only be carried out two years after a consultation process.

Tam also said they will support the Ta Kwu Ling landfill extension funding.

The Liberal Party will vote against funding for expanding the Tseung Kwan O landfill.

Its leader, James Tien Pei-chun, who represents the New Territories East constituency, said it opposed the plan because the site is too near a residential area.

But he said the party is likely to vote in favor of expanding the other two landfills, which are in remote areas. He suggested the government use incinerators to handle waste.

Those supporting the Tseung Kwan O expansion include the Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong and the New People's Party. The Legco public works subcommittee meets today to vote on the proposals.

Some protesters have shaved their heads to protest against the expansion while about a dozen members of the Democratic Party joined Sai Kung District Council member Christine Fong Kwok-shan in a hunger strike outside the Legco building.

Tuen Man District Council member Josephine Chan Shu-ying, who is also on a hunger strike, said they will not rule out filing a judicial review if funding is approved.
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Old July 8th, 2013, 07:43 PM   #57
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Plea for expansion funds as landfill protest grows
The Standard
Monday, July 08, 2013

Two leading environmental officials appealed to lawmakers to pass funding for the Tuen Mun and Ta Kwu Ling landfills as villagers stepped up their opposition.

About 100 residents and 60 vehicles took part in a slow-drive protest from Lung Kwu Tan Village to the Tuen Mun landfill to protest its expansion.

Villagers said no official has consulted them about the expansion and asked lawmakers to vote against the funding application in Friday's Finance Committee meeting.

Lung Kwu Tan Village mayor Lau Wai-ping said they would fast outside the Legislative Council on Thursday night.

If the Finance Committee approves the expansion funding, they do not rule out blocking the entrance of the landfill.

"The government goes its own way and arouses our resentment," Lau said. "There is no reason to dump 80 percent of the garbage of Hong Kong in Tuen Mun. It is really unfair to us."

The Yuen Long District Council will meet today and ask Legco to suspend the Tuen Mun landfill expansion funding, saying the government did not consult the council.

Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing reiterated landfills are indispensable even with a vigorous waste reduction program. Delaying the projects would not benefit Hong Kong.

Undersecretary for the Environment Christine Loh Kung-wai said the Finance Committee would be able to take the vote amid threats by lawmaker "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung to filibuster on the funding. She hoped there would be no adjournment.

Heung Yee Kuk lawmaker Lau Wong-fat, also of the Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong, said he would oppose the funding.

DAB chairman Tam Yiu-chung reiterated that he would support the funding of HK$35 million for a feasibility study for a 200-hectare Tuen Mun landfill expansion.
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Old July 26th, 2013, 12:35 PM   #58
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Stench still lingers at landfill after victory
The Standard
Friday, July 19, 2013

image hosted on flickr

landfill by KillerGorilla, on Flickr

Solutions are being sought to environmental problems at the Tseung Kwan O landfill now plans to expand the site have been withdrawn in the wake of public opposition.

Sai Kung district councillors claimed yesterday garbage trucks are still causing street pollution and spreading odor.

Francis Chau Yin-ming said some trucks, especially those owned by private companies, are leaking liquid from the collected garbage.

Chan suggests buckets be installed on the the offending vehicles.

Chong Yuen-tung, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said some trucks often leave the landfill with their tops unsecured, spilling smelly garbage behind them.

He wants the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department to strengthen its monitoring system and increase awareness that polluted streets will result in those responsible being prosecuted.

Lai Siu-kwong, from the department, said supervision of garbage trucks will increase and so to will the frequency of road cleansing.

Lai also promises to enforce a rule that from next year all trucks carry sealed buckets.

Lam Siu-chung, of the Democratic Party, said those living in Po Lam complain of strong odors that have been in the neighborhood for several days.

The Lands Department told the council it has approved the tenancy renewal for the Civil Engineering and Development Department at temporary landfill banks to the south of Tseung Kwan O industrial estate.

This infuriated councillor Christine Fong Kwok-shan, who accused the government of "ignoring the opinion of the district council and the people."

Meanwhile, Friends of the Earth urged a green fund be set up to subsidize recycling.
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Old August 5th, 2013, 05:20 AM   #59
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'Best site' for sewage works found
The Standard
Monday, August 05, 2013

A rock cavern in eastern Sha Tin is the "best site" for relocation of the Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works, the secretary for development said.

Paul Chan Mo-po wrote in his blog that a consultant "confirmed Nui Po Shan of A Kung Kok as the best site compared to four other possible sites for relocation after considering geology, the impacts on the existing sewage system, land ownership, traffic and environmental impacts."

The government is conducting a consultation on the development of caverns as a way to release more land.

Chan said 72 percent of those surveyed believed that the relocation to a cavern can improve the community environment, especially in eradicating odor and improving its image.

He also said the extra land in Sha Tin after the relocation can be used for building flats and recreational facilities. The treatment works occupies 28 hectares.

"If the relocation is implemented, it is expected to be completed in 2027," Chan said. "We will conduct detailed land- use planning and carry out technology and impact assessment."
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Old October 2nd, 2013, 04:34 PM   #60
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Experts propose ways to make Hong Kong a green metropolis
25 September 2013
South China Morning Post

Using more electric vehicles, preserving country parks and improving waste management were among ways to ease Hong Kong's pollution problems put forward at a seminar yesterday.

The ideas came from a panel of experts put together by the South China Morning Post for the latest in its "Redefining Hong Kong" series.

One of the speakers, Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing, set out how the government planned to tackle waste issues by introducing charges for disposal and building incinerators.

He said that with a waste recycling rate of just 48 per cent, Hong Kong lagged behind regional neighbours such as South Korea, where 60 per cent of waste was recycled and 20 per cent turned into energy.

Wong said waste incinerators were needed to reduce the use of landfills.

Because Hong Kong did not have much farmland where food waste could be recycled, incinerators were needed to turn it into energy, he told the 150 people at the seminar.

The government's proposal to extend landfills in Tseung Kwan O, Tuen Mun and Ta Kwu Ling has met with strong opposition lately.

It has withdrawn the Tseung Kwan O plan and the Legislative Council has delayed scrutiny of plans for the other two sites. The government plans to retable the proposals early next year.

Legco has not yet approved funding for a HK$15 billion incinerator on Shek Kwu Chau, off South Lantau, although a court rejected a challenge in July.

Wong said he hoped waste charges could change the city's culture in much the same way as a 50 cent charge for plastic bags had.

"The earlier 'bring your own bag' campaign has somehow changed Hong Kong culture. When we go to the supermarket, we bring our own bags," he said. "We would like to see that with waste charging."

Fellow speaker Paul Zimmerman, CEO of urban planning campaign group Designing Hong Kong, argued for the preservation of country parks.

The future of the parks has emerged as a hot topic since development chief Paul Chan Mo-po broached the idea of allowing development in some areas to ease housing problems.

But Zimmerman said houses built by indigeneous male villagers in the New Territories were a bigger threat to the parks because of the roads that had to be built to support the new villages and the pollution caused by inadequate sewage facilities.

He also urged the city to limit the number of cars crossing the border from the mainland, especially after the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge opens in 2016.

"The ones who will suffer will be the ones who live in Hong Kong, not the ones who cross the border to visit," Zimmerman said. "Every city has every right to defend its own traffic and communications within the city."

He also called for road pricing to keep drivers away from busy districts, especially during peak periods.

Finally, Zimmerman called on the government to make it easier for people to get around town on foot. This could include improving footpaths, improving road junctions and even providing more seats.

Dr Hung Wing-tat, a transport analyst at Polytechnic University, suggested promoting electric vehicles and said the city's "greenest and cheapest" transport - the island's trams - could be modernised and used as a basis for transport improvements elsewhere in the city.

Hung said there was a lack of initiatives to promote a more environmentally friendly transport system.

A committee on the promotion of electric vehicles, headed by Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah, was set up in 2009 but there had been little progress, Hung said.

The government should help bus companies replace their fleets with electric buses because if it didn't the companies would have to raise fares, he said.

Other initiatives, such as road surfaces and barriers that reduced noise and cut pollution, could also help make the city greener, Hung said.
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